Monday, July 20, 2009

Downtown Hometown

More photos from Florida. This is our gorgeous downtown area. My mom had to return library books for my nephew, so we decided to take a stroll along the sidewalk on Barcarrota Boulevard, along the waterfront. Although my hometown is certainly most famous for our soft, white sandy beaches on the Gulf, we also have several beautiful rivers running through the city. This is the Manatee River. There is a marina here, as well as a restaurant, and of course the amazing views.

Below is the library, and Main Street. The only job I ever held back home was for the county government, in various departments. So in my late teens and all of my 20's, I worked downtown. It was very common for me to walk the few blocks down to the waterfront on my lunch hour, or stroll Main Street's shops. Some days I packed a picnic lunch, and friends and I would spread a blanket right there by the water and take a break. Another friend and I would change into walking gear and head out to spend our lunch hour walking across the bridge and back.

Below is a photo of City Hall, where my dad has his office. His office is, I think, the first or second one over from the right, upstairs. His window overlooks the waterfront. I wouldn't be able to get a lick of work done if I had that view every day. The last time I was in his office, I think he had his desk placed so that his back was to the window, but I wouldn't be able to ignore gazing at the river every day. My dad is a retired fireman, who served for around 30+ years, and for over a decade was the fire chief. His retirement was brief, and he is now in the middle of his fifth term as a city councilman. But guess what? Everywhere he goes, people still say "Hey Chief!" because that's how everyone still thinks of him. (You can click on the link and see his page.)

My mom snapped a few photos of me. I have been lucky enough to see manatees in the wild, right there in my hometown (last year we were fortunate enough to see two of them mating in Palma Sola Bay near my parents' house). But the river is also full of dolphins who come in from the Gulf. It is very common to see them out there in the river downtown, playing, and I guess living in Florida I took all of that for granted. Some people only get to see dolphins and manatees in aquariums, but I grew up seeing them in the rivers and beaches of my hometown. We would be at restaurants on the water, and look out the window to see dolphins going by. Or in the boat and have them come almost right up to us. We would see them by the dozens, sometimes mommas with their babies at their sides. In fact, seeing dolphins was such a common sight I would be like, "eh". Now when I go home, it is such a wonderful pleasure.

Hope you enjoyed the photos of my hometown of Bradenton and our beautiful scenic downtown area!


  1. What a gorgeous town! You are so lucky to have lived there - and it sounds like you really appreciated it while you were there!

  2. Bradenton is a very nice town to live in. we are lucky to have such great leaders in our local gov. They must have a great vision....????

  3. WOW!! A beautiful town!! Maybe we will have to check into how far Bradenton is from Sanibel. Can we make it a day trip while we are there??

  4. Sanibel is about 90 miles from Bradenton, about 1 1/2 hrs drive on the interstate. Come on down.....

  5. Dad, check your map, that would be come on UP from Sanibel. :) Yes, there is a lot to do and see in Bradenton. The beaches are spectacular, the downtown is beautiful, we even have a big beautiful bay. Lots and lots of water all around! Plenty of shopping and eating to be done. It's a large city, though, not a quaint sleepy little beach town. I spent the first 30 years of my life there, and I didn't appreciate it until I was gone- and landlocked!